Lincolnshire flood rescue teams to be expanded
An expanded flood rescue system has been unveiled by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service.
A £250,000 grant has led to the number of specialist response teams, equipped with boats, being expanded from one to 10, a total of 60 personnel.
Crews are also being trained to be deployed to major flooding incidents anywhere in the UK.
Millions of pounds of damage was caused in 2007 when several rivers in the county burst their banks.
As well as the threat from rivers, Lincolnshire has low-lying coastal areas which are vulnerable to high tides and storm surges.
Officials said that while a lot of work had gone into static flood defences and clearing waterways, the new teams would add "resilience" to the county's capability.
Peter Robinson, executive councillor for community safety at the county council, said: "Flooding, especially from the sea, has been identified as a key risk for Lincolnshire and this extra resource will give us significantly more capacity and expertise to help people should a flood occur.
"Building on the water rescue resources we have now, and those of our partner organisations, we will be better prepared to assist in both local and national flood responses."
It is hoped that most of the rescue teams will be fully operational by June.
Two boats of different sizes will be based at Boston, Louth and Gainsborough, with one each at Lincoln North and Spalding.
Two more at Sleaford will not become operational until the station is crewed 24 hours a day by full-time firefighters, which is expected to happen in 2014.